- What genre are your books?
Fiction and poetry
- What draws you to this genre?
The freedom to create, the broad scope of creativity and artistic license. Not a fan of reading non-fiction or writing it much because it is so “dry” to me, hard to do.
- What project are you working on at the moment?
Currently working on a book about living with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Have four other fiction novels to polish for publication… someday… lol
- What’s it about?
This little book is going to be about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, who gets it, ways to survive it and learn, as some of us must, to just live with it.
- Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is special?
For this I’ll choose a fiction novel I have written. The main character Joyce is special because she never stops loving those who hurt her worst.
- Have you written anything else?
My first collection of short stories “One Part Good” and my first collection of poetry “Spiritshine” are both available as free ebooks on Smashwords right now. I’ve won awards for fiction and poetry and non-fiction.
- What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I hope, as we all do, to one day publish a bestselling book so I can move to a rural setting and just write the rest of my days away in peace.
- Which writers inspire you?
Oh! So many. Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, Jane Hamilton, Timothy Findley, Alice Munro, John Irving, Paula Sharp, Alistair McLeod, Wayson Choy, Rabindranath Maharaj, Dean Koontz, Anne Rice, Tolkien, Dickens, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, CS Lewis, Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, Joyce Carol Oates, just could go on forever…
- When did you decide to become a writer?
When I was six years old I told the teacher I want to make books when I grow up. Why do you write? Because I cannot stop. When I was thrust into PTSD by shocks/trauma in 2011 and a physical assault in 2012, writing literally (pun intended) saved my life.
- Do you have a special time or place to write?
Not really. But I love the quiet. In the quiet I can think and that often means I want to write something.
- Where do you get your inspiration?
Observing humans, nature and life in general. Almost anything can be a source of inspiration, good or bad; there is always something to say about things.
- Do you work on an outline or do you prefer to see where the idea takes you?
For poetry it’s totally free falling. Non-fiction has to be outlined somewhat and for fiction, it can go either way. Sometimes I have a loose outline and find my characters taking me down a totally different road so I just go with it.
- Do you ever get writer’s block?
How do you overcome it?
I take a break from writing and usually find my voice again soon enough. Nature is my “go to” for inspiration when all else fails.
- What is the hardest thing for you about writing?
It is not very profitable. In fact, it really, for me, is not profitable at all. It’s purely therapeutic at the moment and I accept that. Maybe it will be different someday but that’s what drives me to write most these days.
- How do you market your books?
I was fortunate to be connected to some great writing groups online and that helped. Although sometimes it’s like preaching to the choir and we all want the same thing so it’s probably not very effective. I have a trailer and book covers and book blurbs all on line. Why did you choose this route? It was more the route chose me. I didn’t have a clue about marketing and am still not really good at it. Being featured as author of the month January 2016 may have helped get the word out about my writing but my first two books remain free because I cannot “sell” myself. Hopefully there will be better opportunities for writers.
- How much research do you do?
Not a lot because my stories are character driven. I like doing research though so if I had to do more, it would be fine by me. My eyes can wear out fast so I have to watch it.
- Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
I used to do all of those but now just the computer. Sometimes I do write something longhand if I am so inspired but it’s usually a short story or a poem.
- What are some of your favorite books/authors?
Book titles: Cider House Rules, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Bastard Out of North Carolina, The Shining, The Diviners, Crows Over a Wheat Field, Fall on Your Knees, Book of Ruth, The Last of the Crazy People, Perfection, The Handmaid’s Tale, Cat’s Eye, Surfacing, Dance of the Happy Shades, To Kill a Mockingbird, Who Do You Think You Are? Again, just so many, I could keep going forever on this answer.
- Are you currently reading any books?
Yes, I am reading some stories by Toni Morrison and a fictional work by Nicole Lundrigen called The Widow Tree.
- How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jannistyles1 @jannistyles1
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Janni-Styles/e/B00N9K6VOM
Book Links: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/475450 https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/475640